Liturgical Season 6/3/04 World News
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Mary Page News items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the many ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.

Liturgical Season

To celebrate the month of June with Mary:

Marian Commemoration Days

Mary Page offers a variety of resources inviting study, reflection and meditation.  We also list important Marian dates for each month of the year.  Please see Marian Commemoration Days for the month of June.

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New Resources

To help users locate The Mary Page, we have created an alternate web address, marypage.udayton.edu.

A section on Marian Spiritualities has been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was a paper by Brother John Samaha on Mary in Byzantine Spirituality.  Expect more articles to follow.

A section on international stamps with images of Mary has also been added to our Resources index.  The latest added was Meditating the Passion of Our Lord with Stamps.  Expect more countries to follow.

A section on Mary and Women is now under construction in our Resources index.  The latest addition was John Paul II on Women.  Expect more articles to follow.

The Marian Library has received many valuable donations of religious art.  The most recent is a collection of the works of Alex Rapoport from his widow, Irina.  Many thanks to all our benefactors!

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  News from the Marian Library

Alumni Update

Dr. Judith Marie Gentle, former IMRI student, recently published Jesus Redeeming in Mary: The Role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the work of our Redemption, according to St. Louis de Montfort.  Copies are available through Montfort Publications [Phone: 631-665-0726, Email: montfort@optonline.net] for $12.95 each + S&H.

Click here for a review.

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New Exhibit

Messengers from God

An eclectic Marian Library exhibit showcasing works by internationally known Ukrainian artist Aka Pereyma and her daughter Christina opens June 7 in the Marian Library.  For more information click into, http://alumni.udayton.edu/campusreport/morenews.asp?storyID=1603.

New Crèches will also be on display in our museum through November 2004.

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Summer 2004 semester will begin on June 14!  The schedule is available online.

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Marian Events

Marian Year Indulgence

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Washington, D.C.

Under the usual conditions, make a sacred pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, as designated by the Holy Father, and there assist devoutly in a liturgical celebration or other pious exercise, in a group or individually, and recite the Lord's Prayer and the Profession of Faith or the Apostle's Creed (in any approved form).

Click this link for a list of all of the current Marian Events by geographical position.

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Prayer Corner Requests

You are invited to help us pray for our Prayer Corner intentions.  Please take a look!  This site has been updated and enhanced and now allows users to directly submit prayer requests or to volunteer as a prayer partner for these intentions!

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News from Around the World

From Zenit

Mary Leads Us to Hope, Says Cardinal Martino

Vatican Official Speaks at Fatima on Anniversary of Apparitions

FATIMA, Portugal, MAY 19, 2004 (Zenit.org)

Amid today's "spiritual and cultural crisis," the Virgin Mary is the way "that leads us to the source of hope, that is God himself," says Cardinal Renato Martino.

The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace expressed the Fatima "message of conversion and hope" in a homily he delivered during a Mass on the anniversary of the Blessed Virgin's apparitions last Thursday.

The first apparition of the Blessed Virgin, to three little shepherds Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, took place on May 13, 1917, in the Cova de Iria. On May 13, 2000, during his pilgrimage to Fatima, John Paul II beatified Francisco and Jacinta.

Cardinal Martino said that "many times we find that we are without hope, … weighed down by events" and "poor by our inability to give them meaning."

"We have no alternative other than to turn to God, converting our hearts. We have abandoned him, but God has always been present, and he waits for us with patience and love," the cardinal said.

In the "supreme moment of the passion," from the cross, Jesus made his Mother, Mary, the Mother of all who believe in him, the Vatican official continued.

"Jesus' last act before dying was to found a community of love in the persons of his Mother and the beloved disciple," so that "from the cross, the community, the Church, was born," he explained.

In "that ecclesial birth we find Mary, the Mother," and in her presence at the moment the People of God emerged, "we find the imprint, theological and spiritual, of her being perennially, yesterday as today, our hope, the hope of the Church, the hope of the world," Cardinal Martino said.

In "a world that has lost the values of love, … that rejects human life to the point of destroying it before it sees the light" of day, "we turn to the Virgin of Fatima, so that she will educate our hearts in hope and our hands in gestures of charity," he exhorted in his homily.


Mary's Maternal Mediation

Interview With Father Jesús Castellano Cervera

ROME, MAY 19, 2004 (Zenit.org)

Prayer "to Mary and with Mary" not only stirs up "her sentiments in us," but also those of her Son, says a specialist in Marian studies.

Discalced Carmelite Father Jesús Castellano Cervera, a professor at the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum and a consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, explained to ZENIT Mary's maternal mediation in the mystery of salvation.

Q: One of the central mysteries of the Catholic religion refers to Mary. Why did God decide that Jesus should be born of the Virgin?

Father Castellano Cervera: Mary enters the history of salvation by a free decision of God. Starting from the details in Scripture, especially the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John, but also in some allusions of Mark, we can discover the centrality of Mary in the history of salvation, from the very beginning, as Vatican Council II has well shown in the constitution "Lumen Gentium," especially numbers 55 to 59, where with great sobriety and profundity Mary is presented in the history of salvation at the biblical level.

Obviously the centrality of Mary depends on the centrality of Christ, on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word who willed, in God's plans, a real human birth of the Word from a real Mother who has given to the Son of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, our human nature in a conception and birth from a Virgin.

Only the unfathomable condescension of God, who willed that the Word should become our flesh, explains the maternal function of Mary, her dignity and her importance.

Starting from this event, willed by God, Mary is at the center of the whole mystery of Christ and of the Church, linked to the work of the Trinity, to the mystery of the Church, to the mystery of salvation.

Q: Why was Mary chosen?

Father Castellano Cervera: God chose Mary because in his plans he desired on one hand the normality of a birth from a mother of the People of Israel, and on the other, the unique peculiarity of being born from a Virgin Mother.

Because of this, God prepared this creature from the beginning, filling her with grace and benevolence. He created in her a particular virginal and maternal psychology which also developed with her freedom in the context of a hope of the People of Israel.

According to the Gospel of Luke, the event of the Annunciation enables us to enter into those plans of God, hearing the words of the Angel, messenger of the Good News, and of the Virgin, free and wise who abandons herself totally to the will of God.

Q: With the birth of Jesus, Mary became the seal of the covenant between the Creator and humanity. Is it also because of this that the faithful address her as our advocate, as the one who is most heard by the Lord?

Father Castellano Cervera: The covenant of the Incarnation is already part of the new covenant promised by the prophets, and Mary is the protagonist.

In different ways we can emphasize this character of covenant in Mary between God and humanity. It is a new and gratuitous covenant because it depends on the will of God. It has the novelty of a covenant made this time with a woman-mother.

It is a covenant that is realized with the union between the divine and the human with the human maternity of Mary and the fecundity of the Spirit.

It is the covenant in which Mary, with a new and renewed heart by the grace of the Holy Spirit, gives herself totally to the will of the Father. It is a covenant in which Mary, in addition to her personal participation, also acts as the new Israel and first fruit of the Church.

From this leading role of Mary we can understand the meaning of her maternal mediation in the mystery of our salvation and recognize that among all of Mary's titles, as Vatican Council II teaches, she is also called Mediatrix, Auxiliatrix and Advocate.

They are titles that must not obfuscate her dependence on Christ, our advocate with the Father, and of the Spirit, who is also Paraclete, advocate in our prayer. Mary prays for us with the groans of the Spirit and intercedes with the Spirit for the salvation of all.

Q: What importance does Marian devotion and prayer have in the life of a Catholic?

Father Castellano Cervera: Urs Von Balthasar spoke of the Marian principle or profile of the Church, and he said that Christian spirituality is Marian spirituality, especially in the sense that the Christian looks at Mary to have her same sentiments: to receive with docility the word of Jesus, to incarnate his personal and communitarian presence in the world, to give Christ to others.

Prayer to Mary and with Mary, "filial communion" with Mary, as I like to stress, expresses the contemplation, the invocation and the imitation of Mary, in such a way that closeness to Mary in prayer can create in us her sentiments and with them those of Christ Jesus.

Marian prayer leads to contemplation, to imitation, but also to the grace of feeling oneself in communion with Mary, who creates in us the "features of the firstborn," as Paul VI wrote in "Marialis Cultus," in a very apt synthesis of the meaning of Marian piety and spirituality.

In consequence, contemplating the filial love toward the Father, maternal toward Christ, spousal toward the Spirit, universal toward all, we learn the real meaning of piety and the duty of universal and concrete charity.

Mary constantly says to us: "Do whatever he tells you." Sister Lucia of Fatima has described this phrase as "Mary's commandment."


U.S. Catholics Exhorted to Recover Devotions

VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2004 (Zenit.org)

John Paul II recommended that U.S. Catholics recover "devotions of popular piety" as a means of personal and communal sanctification.

"For centuries the holy rosary, Stations of the Cross, prayer before and after meals, and other devotional practices have helped to form a school of prayer in families and parishes, acting as rich and beautiful supplements to the sacramental life of Catholics," the Pope said.

He made his suggestion Saturday when meeting with U.S. bishops visiting from the ecclesiastical provinces of San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

"A renewal of these devotions will not only help the faithful in your country grow in personal holiness but will also act as a source of strength and sanctification for the Catholic Church in the United States," the Holy Father added.


Conclusion of Pope's Address to Bishops of Provinces of San Antonio and Oklahoma City

"Family Life Is Sanctified in the Joining of Man and Woman in Holy Matrimony"

VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2004 (Zenit.org)

Here is the conclusion of the address John Paul II delivered on Saturday to the U.S. bishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of San Antonio and Oklahoma City at the conclusion of their five-yearly visit to Rome.

My Brother Bishops, as I conclude these considerations on family life, I pray that you will continue your efforts to promote personal and communal sanctification through devotions of popular piety. For centuries the Holy Rosary, Stations of the Cross, prayer before and after meals and other devotional practices have helped to form a school of prayer in families and parishes, acting as rich and beautiful supplements to the sacramental life of Catholics. A renewal of these devotions will not only help the faithful in your country grow in personal holiness but will also act as a source of strength and sanctification for the Catholic Church in the United States.

As your nation marks in a special way the One-hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, I leave you with the words of my illustrious predecessor, Blessed Pope Pius IX: "We have, therefore, a very certain hope and complete confidence that the most Blessed Virgin will ensure by her most powerful patronage that all difficulties be removed and all errors dissipated, so that our Holy Mother the Catholic Church may flourish daily more and more throughout all the nations and countries, and may reign 'from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth'." (Ineffabilis Deus)  I invoke the intercession of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of the United States, who untainted by sin unceasingly prays for the sanctification of Christians, and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of strength and joy in Jesus Christ.

"Thérèse" Aiming for Oct. 1 Première in Cinemas

BEAVERTON, Oregon, MAY 21, 2004 (Zenit.org)

"Thérèse," the film about the Carmelite saint of Lisieux, which will première Oct. 1, has already received a standing ovation.

The ovation came last year during a private showing to the Roman Curia. The film was due to be released last autumn, but director Leonardo Defilippis estimated that the company film needed an additional $2 million for it to be shown in cinemas.

The film "is absolutely a work of charity," he was quoted as saying in the Discalced Carmelites' Web page. "It is like a 'little way' made up of little people all over the world who do little things, believing in this project."

"Thérèse" is depending heavily on its official Web page www.theresemovie.com for publicity and on the efforts of volunteers to promote it in cinemas.

Those who want "Thérèse" be shown in their local movie houses can fill out a form on the Web page. The more people who fill out the form, the better the chances for this film to be shown in cinemas.

Defilippis and his wife Patti founded St. Luke Productions, whose affiliate, Luke Films Incorporated, produced "Thérèse."


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Mary in the Secular Press

The director and editors of Mary Page under the auspices of the International Marian Research Institute do not necessarily endorse or agree with the events and ideas expressed in this feature. Our sole purpose is to report on items about Mary gleaned from a myriad of papers representing the secular press.

Salvadorans wear faith on their sleeves; Easter Week: The religious celebrations are devoid of the commercial trappings prevalent in North America [Source: The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah), 4/11/2004]

SOYAPANGO, El Salvador

While millions in North America marked a solemn time in Christianity this week with church services and Easter paraphernalia, Catholics in Latin American countries like El Salvador have spent Holy Week to showcase one of the region's biggest treasures: the people's faith.

In Utah, shelves were stocked with Easter merchandise ranging from Barbie Easter eggs, to those dyed in camouflage, or pink pastel hats, or chocolate-covered crosses.

Here in El Salvador the old, the young, the disabled, and especially the poor, celebrated Semana Santa with what little they had or nothing at all.

Like most of Latin America, the people of this country, who have endured a bloody civil war, devastating hurricanes, a crippling earthquake and perpetual oppression by the upper classes, took tropical flowers, palm branches, old candles and colored paper on daily processions to profess their faith. They marched in humid heat four to five hours at a time, several times a day, alongside statues of images depicting the passion, the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ. The women carried the sad-faced Madonnas--the Virgin Mary with a pierced heart and Mary Magdalen--hoisted on wooden platforms decorated with flowers.

The men carried an image of a tousled-haired Jesus on his way to jail, Jesus blindfolded, Jesus tortured, Jesus carrying the cross and Jesus buried. Girls and boys dressed up as Romans, as the apostles, as Mary, as Jews. It is all an attempt, they say, to visually and physically remind themselves of the sacrifice of the Christ and what that means as Christians.

"We can have everything in this world, but if we don't have God, we have nothing at all," said Roberto Bertran, a parishioner of San Antonio Church in the working-class neighborhood of Soyapango near San Salvador.

"This is a time to think of the poor, of finding ways to be with them, to help them and protest social inequities as Jesus did," Bertran said. In this region of extreme haves and have-nots, most meditated on this thought during the religious marathon of Masses and blessing ceremonies that began with Palm Sunday a week ago.

"We are looking for a better way to be ourselves, not just during these days but thereafter," said Salvadoran Ana Molina.

Even the poorest in a country that suffers from malnutrition save the money from daily fasts and donate it to charity. Those who don't have anything to donate are content with immersing themselves in the season's traditional rites.

"The symbolism and rituals came thousands of years ago with the arrival of the Spaniards and little has changed since," said the Rev. Estefan Turcios. "By watching the images," he said, "the people are transported back in time and able to see the suffering of their neighbors, their countrymen and the world."

"They are not just customs, they are acts of faith," he said. "They carry a profound message for the people. That's why they do it."

This search for a deeper meaning through ritual brought Catholics Chin and Marcel Beaudoin from Canada to Latin America.

"We've never seen anything like this," said Marcel Beaudoin. "In Canada, we have a celebration on [Maundy] Thursday and then on Sunday."

Beaudoin said it has been life-changing to march the streets at night with the people and to see such a public and unabashed love of God.

While nations such as the United States and Canada have financial riches, he said, they are poor in faith. There, he said, Easter is a "celebration for the stores."

The Rev. Roberto Bigras, a Canadian who has worked in Honduras for 23 years, said the reason the celebrations seem so different is that in the North, faith is more a private matter.

"Yes, some express it by buying chocolate eggs, Easter baskets, but also by going to church," he said. "The shopping ... is not Christian, but it's not a bad thing."

His fellow priest, Turcios, asked his parishioners to pray for their countrymen in the United States and Canada so they wouldn't feel lonely or empty at this time of year, and that they find a way to express their faith in a different land.

"As long as they are happy, as long as they express what they feel, that is what matters," he said.

NORTHWEST BOOKSHELF [Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 4/9/2004]

THE MIRACLE DETECTIVE: Randall Sullivan, Atlantic Monthly Press, 442 pages, $25. An intrepid Portland journalist crafts a fascinating exploration of how the Catholic Church investigates purported sightings of the Virgin Mary; a globe-trotting, first-person spiritual odyssey that took him to northeastern Oregon, Arizona, Bosnia, the Vatican and beyond.

Mainland Mary: The Canadian Mary started as a patroness of seafarers, then she moved across the continent [Source: National Post (Canada), 4/10/2004]

Mary of Canada: The Virgin Mary in Canadian Culture, Spirituality, History and Geography
By Joan Skogan
The Banff Centre Press
328 pp., $29.95
- - -
It was thanks to non-Canadian males, off the shores of Canada, that Joan Skogan took it into her head that she should look for Mary of Canada. Though she is a journalist and writer of fiction and children's books, for some time she was a fisheries observer, for regulatory purposes, on boats where she was the only woman among fishermen, Poles, Russians, etc. -- at any rate, the only woman aside from Mary, visible on board in her images. The crews venerated Mary and sought her intercession. Joan Skogan, a lapsed Protestant, began to do so, too.

For some reason, she had to leave the Pacific Ocean for a landlubber's life, so she looked for Mary in the dry parts of Canada, often traveling alone by car. She found her in many places in every province and territory.

If one can speak of a focus in so meandering a volume, then Skogan's special focus makes this one of the most interesting Canadian travel books. It is also a long essay, loosely structured by region, rich in lore, history and illustration, by no means from Canadian sources alone.

Mary of Canada makes clear that much of the earliest Marian piety in Canada was like Skogan's own, a devotion to Mary as a patroness of seafarers. For example, that is one major reason for the great and old pilgrimage destination at Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre, on the St. Lawrence a little east of the narrows at Quebec City, Saint Anne, Mary's mother, being another patroness of sailors.

Though Skogan says quite a lot about Saint Anne, she misses one aspect of Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre: the popularity of the statue of Anne holding the infant Mary, which attracts many praying petitioners and many paying customers for smaller replicas. This is a striking variation on the Madonna and Child, in which both mother and child are female, an image that speaks strongly to mothers and daughters alike. Maybe Skogan did not pick up on this because she is not greatly interested in Mary as mother, but rather as intercessor--a less daunting figure to pray to than God, the unimaginable I Will Be Who I Will Be, as He named Himself to Moses.

Skogan appears to be a discreet pagan, in whose eyes Mary is the major manifestation of the Goddess in Canada and the Western world in general. In other words, she is a pagan who does not fight against the fact that she lives in a country with a lot of Christian tradition. The Egyptian goddess Isis crops up a lot in this book: There is no doubt that with the arrival of Christianity, Mary moved on to turf previously occupied by Isis, Diana, Juno, Venus and many others. Canadian polytheistic content is not lacking in this book: Skogan gives us a moving account of the Inuit sea goddess, Sedna, after whom a newly discovered planet-like object in our solar system was named last month.

Maybe it's just as well that Skogan is a not-so-closeted heatheness. Most Roman Catholic writers, I'm afraid, would have been distracted by taking potshots at this or that faction within the Catholic Church, or at least by careful political positioning toward Marian piety (or, in aggressively Protestant terms, "Mariolatry"). And many regular Christians would have been shy to present the exotic mixed bag on display in Mary of Canada, including kitsch, popular culture, irreverences--such as Mary with a child who is Pinocchio instead of Jesus; Elvis Presley in drag as the Madonna with the Sacred Heart on his or her chest; and in Vancouver, in the Leaky Heaven Circus Christmas show of 2002, Mary "in striped tights and a bewildered innocent-clown smile."

Christians need not object to all this. They should accept the links made between Mary and a multitude of mother and virgin goddesses, regarding these deities as anticipations of Mary, and they can welcome the evidences of a surprising persistence of their religion, even among would-be blasphemers.

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